SEPTEMBER 10, 2001
Bernie goes biking
BERNIE ECCLESTONE has enjoyed a relaxing weekend away with his wife Slavica at the Portuguese Motorcycle Grand Prix, even taking a ride on the back of legendary former champion Randy Mamola's bike!
The 16-race, 14-country motorcycle season is drawing a great deal of interest prior to 2002, when the sport's top category will undergo a revamp to change from traditional two-stroke power (now only of limited use in the marketplace), to four-stroke engines more closely related to the roadgoing product.
Already the sport's governing body the FIM very sensibly keeps its calendar to alternate weekends with its four wheeled cousin, allowing F1 celebrities a chance to catch the action... although whether or not Bernie's visit was purely for pleasure was the cause of much speculation.
The last time the Ecclestones enjoyed so public a weekend away was at the Wimbledon tennis tournament, and shortly afterwards Bernie announced his interest in the promotion of a sport he enjoys. He has a long history with motorcycles back to the very earliest days of his career, and his presence in Portugal has caused some excitement in biking circles.